How can we critique political theory when all we have to use are its own conceptual tools? As Hannah Arendt observed, it can only be done through leaps, inversions, and the turning of concepts upside-down. But this twisting operation must be done in order to turn those who philosophize back to the hard work of real life change. In Turning Operations, renowned theorist Mary G. Dietz challenges specific contemporary modes of theorizing politics-from feminist theory to Habermasian discourse- -while appropriating some (...) of political theory's own approaches and some of its most striking figures, including Aristotle, Nietzsche, Weber, Beauvoir, and Arendt in order to foment some leaps, inversions, reversals and turns on politics along the way. Dietz confronts a number of current debates, arguing that most are filled with artificial division and empty terms. She argues that we must abandon commonly supported dichotomies-masculine versus feminine, speech versus action, liberty versus community -to create abetter discourse, and a better world. Turning Operations is an essential new contribution to democratic and feminist political thought. (shrink)
This volume explores, from a variety of perspectives, the political theory of the man who is arguably the greatest English political thinker. The contributors contend that Hobbes's writings are not mere static artifacts of a particular historical milieu, but rather rich sources of a variety of interpretations and criticisms that spur discussion and debate in their turn.